Series brings new light to comm. and media

The Communication Department at Northern Kentucky University will be hosting nationally known speakers through the month of March in the Griffin Hall Digitorium. These speakers will present about different aspects of communication and the media.

There will be three events in March featuring experts in the field of communication.

The first event will include a joint presentation by Rachel Lyon, chair of the department of communication; David Harris, managing director of Harvard Law School’s Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice; and Mark McPhail, dean of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater College of Arts and Communication.
The presentation is at 11 a.m. on March 1 in the Griffin Hall Digitorium.

The three will be speaking about their joint research regarding Troy Davis’ 2011 execution and social media’s effect.

According to Lyon, over one million people signed a petition to halt Davis’ execution. There were people all over the “blogosphere” speaking out against the execution of Davis, not because they believed he was innocent, but because there was not enough proof to say if he was innocent or guilty.

“Seven of the nine original eye witnesses in Davis’ trial recanted their testimonies,” Lyon said. “We think of social media saving democratic ideas.”
Ultimately, Lyon said, social media failed when Davis was executed Sept. 21, 2011.

Lyon also said that channels in our legal system are closed and that they are not transparent.

“We are looking at digital divisions. We want to know what went wrong in this case. In our presentation, we are going to look at critical law theory, critical race theory and critical media theory and see how they interact with each other,” Lyon said.

Lyon said that there is an assumption that social media is a good thing and that it leads to results. “We want to look at that critically, and then look for change at more than a social media level.”

The second event will include a presentation by Vincent Waldron. “Good Work: Communicating the Moral Emotions in Organizational Settings” is March 15 at 12:15 p.m. in the Griffin Hall Digitorium.
Waldron, a professor of communication at Arizona State University, will present his research and findings about different emotions, and morals connected to those emotions, that people experience in the workplace.

“Based on research, if we listen closely to how people react in a workplace, we can learn a lot about what is going right and wrong within that organization,” Waldron said.
According to Waldron, in some fields, producing emotion is part of your work, in jobs such as social work or medical professions that deal with people. He said that he looks into how people handle their emotions.

“Some people in emotionally demanding jobs take out their frustrations within their family relationships,” Waldron said. He looks at why and how people handle their emotions stemming from their place of work.
“My books are based on 20 years of research and experience, observing people in fields of government to factories, teachers to prison guards,” Waldron said. Not only do people express their emotions differently, but in some professions, people are trained on how to communicate their feelings.

The third and final presenter for the inaugural session of this speaker series will be given by Steve Buttry, director of community engagement and social media for Digital First Media. The event, “Preparing for Journalism’s Future: A Training Session with Steve Buttry,” is hosted by the NKU College of Informatics and Cincinnati’s chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
The event will take place March 30 in the Griffin Hall Digitorium, and will include four separate training sessions.

Buttry has been in the news business for almost 40 years and has become an expert on the changing field of journalism, including digital journalism.
“I am a big fan of Steve Buttry,” said journalism professor Michele Day.

Day said that Buttry has done training and gotten big into social media, so she thought he would be a great source for students and faculty to learn more about the changing world of journalism, into the digital age.

Buttry will be holding four workshops for students and faculty. Day said Buttry’s workshops will be extremely useful in understanding the new age of journalism and how to get a job.
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